Pastor’s Message – June 30, 2013

Dear Beloved Parishioners and Guests,

At the moment, I am participating in the Clergy Encounter III

in Saskatoon. Every four years or so, a special gathering of Ukrainian bishops, priests and deacons from across Canada takes place to review, to reflect and to hopefully re-energize our five Ukrainian Eparchies   and our numerous parishes.

Presently we have some 70 clergy stretched from Ottawa to Vancouver to hear various inspiring speakers share their thoughts and their knowledge with the hope and prayer that we will be challenged to provide more positive input into our parishes. The program is based on our young 42 year old Patriarch Sviatoslav’s pastoral letter entitled “Vision 2020” – which asks us to assess our pastoral ministries and invite us to thus be more effective for the Lord and His Church.

We are delighted to hear today’s illuminating conferences presented to us by the young Winnipeg-born Fr. Athanasius McVay, the former pastor of St. Nicholas, who has done extensive research in the Vatican archives and is possibly the most knowledgeable person on our Blessed Martyr Mykyka Budka, the first Ukrainian Bishop in Canada who guided our early Church from 1912-1929. His is a most fascinating and inspiring story and we truly must become more familiar with the great sacrifices he made here and then the martyrdom of his life in Ukraine in 1949  – as a Canadian citizen who was tortured and suffered in the Siberian concentration camps.

This is proving to be a most enjoyable and profitable conference which is being followed up by the Ukrainian Catholic National Congress of representatives from the BUK. K of C and UCWL from each and every Eparchy. May this congress be a major success. Our St. Joseph’s UCWL will be well represented by three dedicated ladies who will, in turn, report much of the proceedings to us.

Ah! Back home to St. Joseph’s for our parish celebrations:

We at St Joseph’s are most delighted to congratulate our three young priests –     Fr. Frank Szadiak – 40 yrs, Fr. Ray Lukie – 25 yrs,  Fr. Michael Smolinski – 10 yrs!

That happily means that together we are honoring 75 years of priesthood – just how many Baptisms, Marriages, Funerals, Divine Liturgies and prayerful services they have all celebrated, I have no idea – but I think how impoverished our Ukr. Church would have been if these three young men had not responded to Jesus invitation: Come follow Me!

We as a parish give much thanks and gratitude for them generous gifts of Love – especially the Gift of themselves. Diakyu, Diakyu and thank you!

Please let us pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. We truly do need to encourage your sons, daughters  and grandchildren to be receptive to Christ’s invitation. Remember vocations come from your families; the fact that you are reading this means you are in church and you wish our church may continue, but

know it can not continue without your help and your prayers…

Have a wonderful peaceful and loveful long weekend…